This chapter proposes a model for the qualitative analysis of language uses characterizing political campaigning on Twitter, in order to expand the results of quantitative studies (e.g., Small 2011; Parmelee and Bichard 2012; Larsson and Moe 2014; Maireder and Ausserhofer 2014). The model—which will be defined ‘Reviewing-&-Previewing’—has been devised by adopting a cognitive-functional perspective (Halliday 1978; Langacker 2008) and drawing upon Sentiment Analysis (Liu 2015) and Appraisal Theory (Martin and White 2005) to investigate the strategies of persuasion and information in a selected corpus of tweets from Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump. This chapter contends that political discourse on social media is the object of a ‘premotional’ (promotional/emotional) process, according to which politicians are Subjects who embody the statuses of ‘Politician-as-Consumer’ and ‘Politician-as-Supplier,’ when they respectively review and evaluate their adversaries’ and partners’ actions and ideological viewpoints, or describe the main aspects of their programmes. In the examined tweets, Subjects therefore blend personifications of the electors’ needs and opinions, schematic contrasts between utopian and dystopian scenarios of hope, courage and fear, and metaphorization processes so as to prompt the emotional participation of Twitter users, who are meant to feel reassured or threatened, depending on the themes and objects of the authors’ messages. Finally, this study also aims to demonstrate that online ‘premotion’ actually helps political discourse retain its ideological nature. This is because Subjects resort to these communicative and emotional strategies in order to gain consensus and attain a positive outcome of political elections, thus ‘reasserting’ or ‘holding’ their power (Fairclough 2015: 94).
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.